Day Programs

We have year-round opportunities for people who live in the nearby community to come on a daily basis for programming at Open Sky. Our program staff, participants and volunteers all work mutually and companionably together – caring for people, our animals and the land. All staff and volunteers who work with participants have passed a Criminal Records check.

This year we are offering a day-program for local area adults, who may attend either full-time (5 days per week) during the growing season and/or part-time (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) during the winter.

Programs and skills-building training are provided in the following areas:August 24 (13)

  1. Gardening – soil fertility, seed bed prep, watering, weeding, harvesting, preparing for market.
  2. Food preparation – making and serving snacks and lunch eaten at the program, focusing on locally-produced ingredients; opportunity for accreditation via a food-handling certificate.
  3. Life-skills – intentional programs enhancing skills for getting along with others; money management; conflict resolution; a healthy diet; household management skills.
  4. Recreation – spontaneous Frisbee games on the lawn, swimming, canoeing, walking on the nearby Trans-Canada Trail, board games, special social events.
  5. Animal care – goats, baby chicks, turkeys, chickens, donkeys, beekeeping.
  6. Small construction projects – mending fences, household repairs, building poultry shelters.
  7. Grounds maintenance – grass cutting, pruning.

Summer Daily Schedule:

8:30am                   Arrival, meet and have a drink, talk about plans for the day

9am                          Working in the garden or with the animals

10:00 am                 Break (those who come early prep the food/drinks)

Noon                       Lunch (prepared with some participants)

1:00 pm                 Either return to garden, or package/process produce for sale, or participate in a skills-building, recreational or social                                                   activity

3:00pm                  Break

4:30pm                   Leaving time

Staffing:  Norm Hunter oversees the outdoor training and gardening work and some afternoon activities, such as canoeing or the walking club.

Michelle Melanson conducts assessments and designs curriculum for upcoming and current program participants.  She also oversees some of the food prep, indoor work and afternoon activities.

Margaret Tusz-King is the Executive Director and oversees staffing, funding, and the employment program conducted in 2016.

Partnerships with local organizations, such as Daybreak, Middle Sackville Baptist Church (neighbours with a welcoming gym), Sackville United Church (Wednesday coffee hour co-hosts) enhance the program options. Local, skilled staff members and vetted volunteers round out the support needs for the programs, especially during learning and recreational activities.


Participants:  Up to 8 local area adults who want to participate in the program. They are able-bodied, able to follow simple instructions and not a danger to self or others. They must be able to get to and from the program (located within Sackville, 4.7km from downtown) on their own.

Fees:  We work with families to identify the least expensive program with the widest collection of funders as possible to make the programs accessible.

If you are interested in any of these activities, please Contact Us by email or phone.